Episode 9: Lee Webster on Home Funerals, Green Burial & Social Justice

by Tanya D. Marsh | Death, et seq.

<iframe frameborder='0' height='200px' scrolling='no' seamless src='https://embed.simplecast.com/7f6a31c5?color=3d3d3d&#039; width='100%'></iframe>

Lee Webster is the Director of New Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy.  She is emeritus President of National Home Funeral Alliance, and emeritus member of the Board of Directors and Education Consultant for Green Burial Council.

Links to publications:

⇒   Changing Landscapes: Exploring the growth of ethical, compassionate, and environmentally sustainable green funeral practice

⇒   Essentials for Practicing Home Funeral Guides

⇒   Planning Guide and Workbook for Home Funeral Families

⇒   Building Bridges along the Death Care Continuum: Advocating for Home Funerals in Hospices, Hospitals, and Health Care Facilities


Selected quotations:

⇒   Home funerals are “family led and family directed.”

⇒   “We don’t recognize death as an emergency.”

⇒   “One of the main characteristics of a home funeral is that it’s okay for people to look dead. We’re taking the time to be present and nearby and to engage with what’s happening. It’s taking the time to be with them.”

⇒   In green burial, “we do nothing to impede decomposition. That’s pretty basic. No concrete, no metal, no exotic woods, no embalming, no toxic chemicals of any kind. We are letting nature take its course at its own pace.”

⇒   “Green burial is bringing back ritual to a society that has been losing it because we’ve been trying to avoid the heavy costs of funerals and going with direct cremation.”

⇒   We want people to think about “what is truly authentic about the life of the person they’re honoring.”

⇒   “Funeral reform is very much needed. There are certain practices within the industry itself that do need change in a very big way.” 

⇒   “People are hungering for this information.”

⇒   “One of the largest issues for me is simply access.”

⇒   “The sooner we can get grassroots activism going, the sooner this will all be a moot issue.”

⇒   “The Catholic Church is really leading the way in green burial because we’re getting back to full body burial. They never wanted cremation.”

⇒   “Unitarian Universalists, from the very beginning, have been big leaders in funeral reform.”


%d bloggers like this: